Navigating Life’s Waters.

My beautiful Charley, life hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows, and I am so thankful for that because it allowed me to fully understand that life is beyond beautiful. Knowing heartache and hard work has allowed me to truly embrace the good things. Life is a perpetual learning and self-discovery process—and I can’t wait to watch you navigate through the many changes, challenges and triumphs life has in store for you too. As you navigate these waters independently or alongside me, I’ve compiled a list of things I’d love you to hear:

  • I’m an imperfect human being, mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, but I do try my best, please accept my imperfections as part of me. I will always try to be the best mother I can be.
  • Accept your imperfections, they make you who you are, and who you are is and will always be amazing.
  • Your self worth is not dependent on what others think of you. They’ll never know your whole story enough to warrant an opinion anyway.
  • Life is gray. It is never just black and white. Question things people say or things you hear.
  • Always trust your gut, 99.9% of time, it’s probably right.
  • ‘No’ is an acceptable response. Don’t be afraid to use it.
  • Have patience with me when someday you’re trying to explain something I may not understand. Times, trends and technology change so fast.
  • Beauty is so much more than meets the eye. Some of the most beautiful people I know couldn’t even tell you how to put on mascara, now that I think of it, they actually probably don’t even own any.
  • Being beautiful on the outside is nothing compared to what’s beautiful on the inside. Don’t let society or the media ‘sell’ you any other story.
  • Invest in your health. It may be the best investment you ever make.
  • Dogs really are mans best friend. They’re great listeners and snugglers, all without any judgement or expectations.
  • High school is definitely not the best years of your life. Learn what you can, but know the best is yet to come.
  • The only path that matters is yours. Don’t worry so much about other peoples’.
  • You know what’s trendy now, but your elders know the trends that have withstood the test of time.
  • Not all friends are forever. The more friends you have, the less likely you are to have those few truly good friends. Trust me, put the time into these friendships. These people are gold.
  • Friends: Quality over quantity.
  • When someone speaks badly of you, it speaks volumes about their character, not yours.
  • Read a physical book.
  • Books: Classics never retire for a reason.
  • Do things that scare you.
  • Explore.
  • Be careful who you allow into your heart, not all people are as genuine as they portray themselves to be.
  • Always be wary of gossipers. Gossiped to usually means gossiped about.
  • Negativity is toxic.
  • Boys are interesting creatures, I’m still learning this species; but I will say that going with the one that makes you laugh will make each of your days 100% better.
  • Find and love yourself wholeheartedly first.
  • Only apologize for things that are your fault. I apologize for things all the time for no reason. Please don’t take after me that way.
  • It’s OK to stumble. How else will you learn to pick yourself back up?
  • Laughter is truly the best medicine, well, besides salt water.
  • You are 50% me, thus, you will always have salt water running through those veins. If ever you’re having a hard day, week or time, find your way back to the ocean. I promise it has healing powers.
  • It takes a stronger person to lift people up, than tear people down.
  • Be kindest to unkind people. They need it the most.
  • Please never judge people, everyone has on/off days, bad/good days. You never know what others have been through or are going through. Don’t judge.
  • If you are going to judge, the best way to know someone’s character is via consistency.
  • Life is hard sometimes, that isn’t reason enough to think ‘life is hard.’ These times will pass.
  • Life is beyond amazing sometimes. Soak up every ounce of these days.
  • Let yourself be happy. Too often we’re so concerned with a million other things that we don’t enjoy the times when life is actually really great. Fully embrace these.
  • Invest in a few quality wardrobe pieces that always make you feel comfortable.
  • Invest in a few quality wardrobe pieces that always make you feel beautiful.
  • Wardrobe: Quality over quantity.
  • Just because someone is wealthy, wears sparkly things, or holds an important job, doesn’t make them classy or impressive. Please always know this.
  • I’ve learned the most in life from the fiscally ‘poor,’ and I know for sure that they can be a lot ‘richer’ than most in all the things that matter.
  • Be classic. Classic things never age.
  • Never be afraid to be who you are. You’re unique and that’s something to celebrate and cherish.
  • Support the underdog. They will teach you things you may not want to know, but you’ll be better off knowing.
  • Listen to people’s stories. It’s amazing what you can learn by listening vs. talking. I’m still learning to do this more.
  • Think before you respond. I’m slowly learning this one too.
  • There is no better learning experience than to get your feet wet by traveling. If we have the funds, we want to help you explore the world. It may just be the best education we could ever give you.
  • You’re going to catch many bugs in your lifetime, but I’m praying that the only one recurring is the ‘travel bug.’
  • There is SO much beauty awaiting to be seen just outside your comfort zone.
  • Your mom is an adrenaline junkie, I’m going to be terrified if you’re anything like me. In my own way, I’ll also be very proud.
  • Your dad is more low-key and low-stress, I’m praying you’re more like him!
  • Sarcasm is a family trait, I hope you learn that soon.
  • Try something, but if it’s not made for you, quit if you want to.
  • Never take the path of least resistance. All good things are worth fighting for.
  • Hard work is everything.
  • Speak up. Your voice matters as much as the next person. If you disagree, say so.
  • Society has changed so much, and people want instant gratification, but darling, the best things are worked for. There is no ‘instant gratification’ for the best things in life.
  • You weren’t born with a silver spoon, and trust me, you’re much better off for it.
  • Humility is one of the best qualities a person can have.
  • You are no better or worse than anyone else.
  • Never think you’re ‘above’ anyone else, and please dear god, never let anyone make you think you are ‘below’ them. OK, so maybe in those instances, in MY mind, you’re above those people who try to make you think otherwise.
  • People wear fears and insecurity on their sleeves. Be gentle.
  • Did I already say always be kind? This one is really important.
  • You are more likely to connect with people on a deeper level if you don’t pretend to be strong all the time.
  • There truly is strength in exposing your vulnerabilities.
  • Fairy tales do not exist. Be your own heroine.
  • Alone time is always necessary: dine, hike, run the beach. Treasure these times and your own company.
  • Form your own opinions and please never be guided by others’ opinions unless they are your very trusted source.
  • Learn from your mistakes, but never be sorry you made them. Mistakes are made for a reason. Usually, it’s to show you what you needed to learn to be able to make the next step on whatever ladder you’re climbing.
  • Intelligence and talents are different for everyone. You may do very well at something and very poorly at another, this is normal.
  • I hope for your Dad’s sake that you LOVE sports. If not, throw him a bone and pretend.
  • Let yourself be passionate about something. True beauty is shown in your passion and dedication.
  • Don’t be afraid to let loose or enjoy yourself with friends and family.
  • Smoores are incredible. They somehow taste even better when they’re enjoyed by a bonfire on the beach.
  • Think long term. Plan.
  • Be spontaneous too. The best times you’ll have will probably be done spontaneously.
  • After you’re 21, always have a bottle of good champagne on hand. When mom and dad break out a bottle of Vueve, you’ll know that life was good to us that day.
  • When we’re apart, know that I’m always with you.
  • Know that nothing you do or say will ever change my perception of you.
  • To me, you’ll always be perfect. Statistically speaking, just like me, you’ll be just about average, but that won’t take away from your ‘perfection’ in my own heart.
  • I will let you struggle and you will probably wonder why.
  • As a mom and knowing me, I will want to pad every step of your way, wipe away all your tears and problems—but I won’t. The best thing I can do for you is allow you to grow and learn to navigate life’s journeys on your own, and that means solving your own problems and falling down a few times. It is via falling, you learn to crawl, and eventually learn to fly.
  • Saying that, I will support you a thousand percent, it just may be from a distance sometimes.
  • I promise to be as transparent as possible with you. When I advise you not to do something, it is 99.9% probable that you’re my kid and I made the same mistake [trust me, I’ve made way more mistakes than I’m proud of]. I understand that you will take my words with a grain of salt. You need to learn your own way.
  • On that note, please don’t cliff jump in foreign lands. You’ll probably do this anyway if you’re anything like me.
  • Watching you learn and navigate life may be one of the best gifts life has ever given me.
  • Letting me into your life will be the best gift you ever give me.
  • Lastly, Your dad and I love you more than anything in this world, and no matter what happens, what paths you choose to take, please know that you will always have two of the biggest cheerleaders behind you, win or lose.

I sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to you only about 20x a day these days—because it’s true. You’ll never know how much I love you.

Mom

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